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Hi all! I am new to the sax world so please bear with me! I purchased a Jean Baptiste alto for my son second-hand. He’s 7 so I wasn’t looking to spend a lot. It seems the bell portion is twisted to the left in comparison to the body. When holding the sax straight, the bell portion is angled to the left almost like it’s turned at the seam. Is this an expensive fix?

I also have to have the neck fitted as the screws do not tighten and secure it in place. I’ve tried greasing them and still doesn’t work. I think the tenon needs to be expanded (look at me with the fancy sax lingo 😉)

Not sure what else they may find but I hate going into these situations clueless. Can the bell/body be realigned easily?
 

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It seems the bell portion is twisted to the left in comparison to the body. When holding the sax straight, the bell portion is angled to the left almost like it’s turned at the seam. Is this an expensive fix?

I also have to have the neck fitted as the screws do not tighten and secure it in place. I’ve tried greasing them and still doesn’t work. I think the tenon needs to be expanded.

I hate going into these situations clueless. Can the bell/body be realigned easily?
CMC79, welcome to SOTW.
Sadly a good buy may not always be the best deal. Yes all these issues can be repaired but at what expense? So.

Figuring out how to post some good detail pictures will help the members help you.

Meanwhile find another unit to compare to if possible. If it’s bent you’ll see it immediately and how much. For now look at the bell to body brace. Sometimes a slight dent on either body or bell or bent brace is a yes clue.

Many tenon screws are shouldered. It may have been replaced with one lacking adequate threads. Completely remove it and inspect that there are adequate threads to draw the clamp down for tightening. It may have been replaced with the wrong screw.

What part of the world are you? Jean Baptist’s is a brand owned by Sam Ash. Many stores have techs. They will also take what you have as trade in. May be better to take $150 on a trade for new one.
 

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Thank you! I actually compared pictures online but I can’t tell if the alignment is the same as mine. It’s a Jean Baptiste JB180AL

You can see the keys aren’t straight up when in the case.
 

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I’m in the US. I did not know it was specifically Sam Ash. I will take it there. Thank you!
 

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It seems the bell portion is twisted to the left in comparison to the body. When holding the sax straight, the bell portion is angled to the left almost like it’s turned at the seam.
From your pictures the horn looks fine to me - the bell is actually supposed to be offset or twisted to the left off the body. It's designed that way to give room for the right hand and the bell key mechanisms. It looks like the bell keys line up and as mentioned check the bell to body brace - if the horn was actually bent in that way there would be obvious signs of damage, bent keys, etc.

You can see the keys aren’t straight up when in the case.
Not quite sure what you mean by this... if you are referring to the bell keys those should be flat when the horn is laying in the case as pictured.
 

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The horn looks fine to me. If the bell key pads are lining up over the tone holes, then it's not misaligned.

I think what's throwing you off is that you're lining up the neck according to the mechanism up there. The saxophone has two swivel joints, the neck in the body and the mouthpiece on the neck. The right way to align those joints is to hang the thing from the neck strap, bring the strap up till the mouthpiece is about level with your mouth, and then, holding the horn with your hands in normal playing position, rotate the neck in its socket and rotate the mouthpiece on the neck till the mouthpiece enters your mouth without you having to reach up or down, or **** your head, or turn the sax from side to side. When you do that, however it hangs is how it hangs. Some saxes the bell points more to the left, some more to the right. Depending on the design of the instrument it may be slightly different when sitting and standing, others will require no adjustment at all between sitting and standing.

I see that it's your 7 year old son who will be playing this, so he's probably not big enough to play the alto between his legs so he'll need to play it with the horn off to the right, resting against the right side of his right thigh.

I'd get a strap with a wide section; for a grown adult the typical narrow strap isn't a problem but a 7 year old playing an alto is going to be like a 50 year old playing a baritone sax.
 

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From your pictures the horn looks fine to me - the bell is actually supposed to be offset or twisted to the left off the body. It's designed that way to give room for the right hand and the bell key mechanisms. It looks like the bell keys line up and as mentioned check the bell to body brace - if the horn was actually bent in that way there would be obvious signs of damage, bent keys, etc.



Not quite sure what you mean by this... if you are referring to the bell keys those should be flat when the horn is laying in the case as pictured.
No, the bells on modern Selmer-style saxes are turned to the right for better results with seated players - have been for almost 100 years. As long as the bell pads cover the tone hole you can assume its okay. Like they said, the neck doesn't have to line up with the clamp, and in practice almost never would. You loosen it and turn it to suit the player. You just have to see that the neck octave key does not open in the favored position. this would be an adjustment that the shop will do when you take it in to get the neck fitted.
 

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Thank you all for the information! I really appreciate you taking the time. I will absolutely look into into all of your suggestions!!
 

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I’m in the US. I did not know it was specifically Sam Ash. I will take it there.
Call first. Talk to a manager. Not all stores have a tech on site every day. Also you may find salesperson in the horn section knows O about saxes that day. Many are college students working first job that had band in High School....on a trumpet.

If you have a sax teacher for your son. Ask them to review it. Take notes.
A tip for their time is kind.

I don’t see anything wrong in the pictures other than the tenon clamp looks like it’s over tightened(top arrow).It should only take about 1/4+ of a turn on the screw (left arrow) and neck should be snug/tight. No need to kill it.

For some peace of mind before spending anything post your findings here. Our rates are very affordable;)

Best to your musical journey with your son.
 

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The geometry of saxes varies quite a lot from brand to brand. Some do seem quite odd.
For the average player, you would think that the overall design would have the neck lined up reasonably symmetrically with the lever that operates it, but that is not always the case.
On most brands, if you turn the neck too far then you invite problems with that linkage.
Ideally, the ring part of the octave key should be concentric with the neck when the pad is closed. That is not common. I have modified pliers especially to correct it.

As has been said, if the two bottom pads close nicely then there is nothing wrong with the geometry.
 
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